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A brief history of the ‘women’s Tour de France’

A brief history of the ‘women’s Tour de France’

Don’t miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you…

Monday, Jul 18

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Much ado is being made about this year’s ‘inaugural’ Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift , but it’s not entirely fair to call it the first Tour de France for women.

Yes, this Tour is the first women’s stage race in France produced by the modern-day Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizer of the men’s race. However, other promoters have tried — and regrettably, failed — to bring an equivalent French stage race to the women’s peloton for over half a century.

Let’s take a look. “1955”

The first attempt at TdF equivalency for the women’s peloton happened in 1955, when French sports journalist Jean Leulliot launched the first ‘women’s Tour.’ Leulliot, who became notable for directing Paris-Nice for 25 years, hoped for seven stages of 80-100km apiece but had to settle for five.

At the time, there was no women’s road world championships, and the French Cycling Federation had only held four national championship races for women.

This historical precedent did not bode well for Leulliot’s race — although 41 women lined up (with Manx cyclist Millie Robinson winning), the race was a one-off, with no successor until the 80s. 1984–1989: Tour de France Féminin In 1984, there were two winners of the Tour de France: Frenchman Laurent Fignon and Marianne Martin of the United States. In 1984, the Société du Tour de France, the […]

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